Shay Bahramirad, Ph.D
Shay Bahramirad, Ph.D
Vice President, Engineering & Smart Grid, ComEd

Dr. Shay Bahramirad, IEEE Senior Member, is ComEd's Vice President of Technology and Smart Grid. Prior to that position, she was the Director of Smart Grid and Technology, serving as a strategic business leader in Commonwealth Edison, the electric Utility in Illinois, working on the transformation to the 21st century power grid and the new energy economy. Her major responsibilities include leading Smart Grid organization across ComEd to develop the vision, business models, and investment strategy of the grid of the future initiatives such as merging technologies, microgrids and smart city deployments. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, teaching Microgrids, Elements of Sustainable Energy, and Smart Grid.

Dr. Bahramirad holds multiple advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is the Chair of the board of IEEE PES Women in Power, Technical Chair of the 2016 IEEE PES T&D Conference, Advisory Committee Member of the Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid and the New Energy Economy, Guest Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, and Guest Editor-in-Chief of the Electricity Journal, special issue on Energy of the Future Applications to Illinois.

Jacob Tetlow
Jacob Tetlow
Vice President Transmission & Distribution Operations, APS

Jacob Tetlow is vice president of transmission and distribution operations for Arizona Public Service Company (APS). Based in Phoenix, APS is Arizona’s largest electric utility provider serving over 2.7 million residents across the state.  He is responsible for the company’s energy delivery function, which includes system operations, maintenance, engineering, project management and construction of the electrical transmission and distribution system. 

Jacob recently served as the chair of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies distributed energy resources sub-committee and is a member of the association’s power delivery committee. He also speaks regularly across the U.S. regarding distributed energy describing how the utility sector can enable and complement the rapidly changing energy landscape.  Closer to home Jacob serves on the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy of Arizona and the Arizona State University’s Industrial Advisory Board in search of partnerships between industry and education. 

He grew up in Mesa Arizona and graduated Arizona State University in 1995 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Jacob worked and lived in both Show Low and Flagstaff Arizona for over 15 years while working at multiple power plants in rural Arizona.

Ram Sastry
Ram Sastry
Vice President, Infrastructure & Business Continuity, American Electric Power

Ram Sastry is vice president – Innovation & Technology, reporting to Stephan Haynes, senior vice president - Strategy & Innovation. In this role, he is responsible for identifying new technologies and business models in the United States and internationally that will help position AEP for success. Promising technologies and/or business models are piloted or evaluated and then transitioned to AEP operating companies or business units for deployment.

Prior to this, from 2014 to 2018, he served as vice president - Enterprise Innovation and Resiliency, responsible for developing and implementing plans for creation of new AEP data centers and building a robust business continuity and crisis management organization to serve the enterprise.

Sastry joined AEP in 2002 as director - IT Audits. He was named director - Distribution Research & Technology in 2009 and became director - Utility Research, Processes and Systems in 2012. He was named director - Distribution Support in January 2013.
Prior to joining AEP, Sastry served as senior director at Covansys (now a CSC company in alliance with Hewlett Packard), a global consulting and technology services company. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute.

Sastry is a Project Management Professional, a Certified Internal Auditor, a Certified Information Systems Auditor, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.
 

Anne Hoskins
Anne Hoskins
Chief Policy Officer, Sunrun

Anne Hoskins spearheads Sunrun’s federal and state public policy and regulatory advocacy. She joined Sunrun after serving nearly three years as a commissioner on the Maryland Public Service Commission, where she also served as a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) board of directors and as Chair of the NARUC International Relations Committee. Previously, she led federal and state advocacy for Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated and served as a visiting research scholar at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Prior to that, Anne represented Verizon Wireless as a senior regulatory counsel and served as a policy advisor to the Governor of New Jersey.

Julio Romero Agüero
Julio Romero Agüero
Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer, JEA

Dr. Julio Romero Agüerois Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer at JEA. He provides leadership in the identification, development, evaluation, and adoption of emerging technologies, business models, services, processes, and industry leading practices to improve overall enterprise performance and sustainability, and achieve digital transformation.He has 23 years of industry experience in the areas of technology and business strategy, grid modernization, smart grid, utility of the future, distribution systems analysis, planning, and operations, and integration of distributed generation, energy storage, microgridsand electric vehicles. He has developed solutions in these areas for electric utilities and regulatory boards in the USA, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. He has published over 40 articles in topics pertaining to these areas and is a frequent speaker in industry events.

Before joining JEA he served as Vice President of Strategy and Business Innovation at Quanta Technology, where he led high performing teams in the development of pioneering methodologies and concepts for planning and analysis of modern and future power distribution systems, grid modernization, and distributed energy resources. He has been Adjunct Professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and University of Houston. He is a former Commissioner of the National Energy Commission of Honduras. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and has served as Chair of the IEEE Distribution Subcommittee, Chair of the IEEE Working Group on Distributed Resources Integration, Editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, and Editor of IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of DistribuTECH.

He holds PhD, MBA and BSEE degrees from National University of San Juan (Argentina), North Carolina State University and National Autonomous University of Honduras, respectively.

Curtis Wynn
Curtis Wynn
President & CEO, Roanoke Electric Cooperative

Curtis Wynn is president & CEO of Roanoke Electric Cooperative & Affiliate Organizations. He has nearly 38 years of experience in the electric utility industry. He formerly held a number of management positions at West Florida Electric Cooperative. He graduated from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science Degree is Business Administration & Management Information Systems. 

Lara Pierpoint
Lara Pierpoint
Director, Technology Strategy, Exelon

Lara Pierpoint joined Exelon in October 2016, focusing on energy technology innovation. She leads the Corporate Strategy technical team from her post in Danville, California, advising the company on energy technology trends and running Exelon’s partnership R&D program. Prior to joining Exelon, she directed the Office of Energy Supply Security in the U.S. DOE Office of Policy and Systems Analysis, where she was responsible for policy and analysis related to coal, gas, and nuclear power and energy cyber and physical security. Before her work at DOE she served as an AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, focusing on nuclear power and waste issues, energy finance, and electricity storage. She received her PhD in 2011 from MIT in Engineering Systems, studying deployment of advanced technologies for nuclear waste recycling, and she holds dual masters degrees from MIT in nuclear engineering and technology policy. She is a native Californian, and completed her B.S. in physics at UCLA in 2004.

Vibhu Kaushik
Vibhu Kaushik
Director of Grid Technology & Modernization , Southern California Edison

Southern California Edison (SCE), the largest subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE: EIX), is the primary electricity supply company for much of Southern California, USA. It provides 14 million people with electricity across a service territory of approximately 50,000 square miles.

As the Principal Manager of Asset Management and Generation Strategy group at SCE, Vibhu is responsible for driving the major maintenance and capital investment decisions and maximize the returns for company’s hydroelectric, natural gas, energy storage, and solar power plants; performance benchmarking & asset optimization, water planning, asset condition monitoring, engineering and risk analysis; plant engineering; central work management program; central outage planning and scheduling; documents and records management for all of SCE’s generation assets.

Vibhu was previously Principal Manager for Resource Planning & Optimization where he managed supply and demand bidding strategies, overall utilization of SCE's contracted and utility owned generation portfolio (20,000 MW+) in California ISO markets through preparation of daily resource plans and quantifying the short-term risk of serving SCE’s bundled customer load.

Prior to joining SCE in 2011, Vibhu was section head for generation operations planning group at Manitoba Hydro’s system control center in Canada, where he lead the team responsible for generation reliability, generation modeling and optimal utilization, and outage management functions.

Vibhu earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Manitoba, Canada. He is also a registered professional engineer. He is currently pursuing an executive MBA from UCLA Anderson.

Kristin Swenson
Kristin Swenson
DER Program Lead, MISO

Kristin Swenson leads the DER Program at MISO; this strategic cross-functional team investigates the jurisdictional and technical issues surrounding DER’s as MISO prepares for the future Bulk Electric System. Kristin has spent 15 years in energy working in development, construction, and asset management of generating facilities for domestic and international utilities and OEM’s. Kristin has an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Curt Kirkeby
Curt Kirkeby
Fellow Engineer, Technology Strategy, Avista Utilities

Curt Kirkeby holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering (BSEE) from Montana State University and a Masters in Engineering Management (MSEM) from Washington State University. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Washington and has extensive experience in the electric and gas utility industry; 6 years in substation design; 18 years in GIS, outage management, asset management, advanced metering systems, engineering modeling; and 14 years in applied research and development focused on energy storage, renewable integration, smart grid, and smart cities. Mr. Kirkeby is currently responsible for innovation strategy and applied research and development, focused on technologies and solutions that enhance the grid and deliver increased value to customers.

Manish Rukadikar
Manish Rukadikar
Manager - Business Planning and Development, DTE Energy

Manish Rukadikar is the Manager of Business Planning and Development at DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE), a Detroit, Michigan based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide.  DTE Energy’s largest operating subsidiaries are DTE Electric and DTE Gas. Together, these regulated utility companies provide electric and/or gas services to more than three million residential, business and industrial customers throughout Michigan.

In this role, Manish leads long-term planning and implementation of DTE Energy’s portfolio of electric and natural gas Energy Efficiency (EE) programs as well as the portfolio of Demand Response (DR) programs. Manish is also responsible for leading the long-term business planning efforts for DTE Electric to keep electric rates affordable for customers. Manish joined DTE Energy in 2009. Prior to his current position, Manish was Manager of Strategic Marketing responsible for strategy development and implementation of DTE Energy’s business customer marketing program. Prior to that, Manish was Manager of Energy Efficiency Education team. In this capacity, Manish led the marketing outreach effort for DTE Energy’s energy efficiency education and awareness program. Prior to joining DTE Energy, Manish was a Program Manager for Chrysler Corporation’s Minivan program in Auburn Hills, Michigan and has held positions of increasing responsibility in Product Development and Program Management.

Manish has a BE in Mechanical Engineering from Walchand College of Engineering in India, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio and an MBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Peter Mostow
Peter Mostow
Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Peter Mostow is a partner in the Seattle office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where his practice focuses on the representation of emerging and mature companies in the fields of energy and clean technology. Peter's background in energy, regulatory, natural resources, and environmental law allows him to assist this client base with the development and finance of energy-generating plants and manufacturing facilities. He represents solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass project sponsors in site acquisition, permitting, power transmission, and offtake agreements; distributed solar power purchase agreement companies in developing their key commercial and financing agreements; and producers of new technologies from energy storage to renewable fuels in drafting and negotiating key commercial transactions. Peter's prior energy industry experience includes project development work for the sponsors of hydroelectric projects, gas-fired power plants, underground natural gas storage facilities, gas pipelines, and liquefied natural gas terminals.

In addition, Peter applies his knowledge of energy and infrastructure project development to assist clients with diligence, negotiations, and legal opinions on a variety of transactions including joint ventures, asset and membership interest acquisitions, venture and later-stage investments, project development and finance, and corporate finance.

Prior to joining the firm, Peter was a partner at Stoel Rives, where he chaired the renewable energy practice.

Following law school, in 1993-94, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Betty B. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Seattle, Washington.

In addition to English, Peter is fluent in German.

Willa Hightower
Willa Hightower
Director of Strategic Planning, Exelon Utilities

Willa is a 20+ year veteran of the utility industry.  She is experienced leader with a track record of success in achieving ambitious objectives – combining strategy, business acumen and financial knowledge with a commitment to growth and development.

Willa is responsible for partnering and engaging with the Utilities leadership team to build an integrated multi-year strategic investment plan, inclusive of both customer and grid requirements. She works closely across the utilities on budgeting and monitoring the status of the plan’s execution.
Prior to her current role, Willa was Director Customer Financial Operations, PECO Energy Company where she was responsible for the billing, payment processing, and revenue collection of over $4 billion in annual revenues.  She and her team were able to slash bad debt in half in just under 3 years; while helping to ensure more affordable bills for the most vulnerable among us. Willa joined Exelon’s trading organization in 2002 as a Senior Financial Analyst before joining PECO as the Manager of Revenue and Load Forecasting and Regulatory Support where she was instrumental in helping PECO prepare for its transition to market-based energy rates and filing its first gas and electric rate cases in over 20 years. Prior to joining Exelon, Willa gained her experience in energy on the regulated and non-regulated businesses at Georgia Power and Mirant Corporation (now part of NRG).

Willa has a bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She is also a graduate of Georgia State University with and MBA with a concentration in Finance.

Willa serves as a Board member for various professional and non-profit organizations including Marian Anderson Award as Board Chair. She is a strong advocate for women and minorities as seen in her commitment to the AABE (American Associate of Blacks in Energy) as well as mentoring aspiring young women and men who are preparing for their next opportunity … opening doors for others to follow. Willa is also the mother of 2 wonderful children Josephine (11) and William (8).

Ashwin Shashindranath
Ashwin Shashindranath
Managing Director, Evergy Ventures

Ashwin Shashindranath is a Managing director at Evergy Ventures. Ashwin is looking for and works with entrepreneurs and companies who are genuinely excited about being agents of change in the energy landscape. Since joining Evergy Ventures in 2017, he's led investments in ecobee, Redaptive, Claroty and ClimaCell. His focus areas include Energy Storage, Digital Utility, Energy Efficiency and Cybersecurity. He previously served on the investment team at OpenAir Equity Partners where his areas of interest included Internet Of Things and Aging in Place technologies. Ashwin has over 10 years of startup operational experience spanning both business development and product management roles.

Adam Todorski
Adam Todorski
Senior Director, Product Technology, AutoGrid Systems

Mr. Adam Todorski is a Senior Technical Solutions Architect at AutoGrid and has founded several technology startups, led technology teams in business software and scientific computing, as well as designed hardware control and communication systems for industrial automation. He started his career designing controls for distributed power generation and automated DR, including starting an ISO New England IBCS provider in 2006, PowerComm LLC.  He has run wholesale market operations desks in multiple US markets, developed and operated grid-scale energy storage, and put large industrials into ancillary services markets. Mr. Todorski holds a BS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is both a PJM and ISO New England certified supply resource operator.

Luis Reyes
Luis Reyes
CEO, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative

Mr. Luis Reyes has been Chief Executive Officer and General Manager at Kit Carson Electric since 1993. Mr. Reyes began his work with Kit Carson Electric in 1984 as a System Engineer. He serves as Chairman and Director of National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. He serves on the boards of the Kit Carson Museum, the Taos Business Alliance, Citizens of Economic Diversity, Leadership New Mexico,

Kit Carson was awarded a $45 million grant and an accompanying $19 million loan from the American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) stimulus funding. The project is expected to span about 3,000 square miles of New Mexico and will include smart grid technology in addition to high-speed broadband to rural communities. Kit Carson “fiber-to-home” project will allow greater bandwidth, providing the quality necessary for applications such as telemedicine, teleconferencing and video sharing for education, business, and entertainment. Once completed, the co-op’s project will make broadband service available to 29 communities, reaching about 20,500 households, 3,600 businesses, and 183 community institutions, including hospitals, schools, and other government facilities. Two Native American pueblos will also receive broadband service once the project is complete.

On October 22, 2013, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative won the prestigious Utility of the Year Award from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). KCEC was selected from among 11 nationwide nominees.

As CEO of Kit Carson Rural Electric Cooperative in Northern, New Mexico, Luis Reyes has provided vision and leadership to turn the Coop into a company that offers a variety of diverse, competitive services including broadband Internet, renewable energy alternatives, and low-cost propane. His dedication to the co-op’s mission is to deliver exceptional customer service with efficiency, professionalism, accountability and develop sustainable economic opportunities, which benefit it’s service communities. He has thrust the Co-op into the limelight regionally and nationally.

At the NRCEA meeting in 2002, Reyes accepted the NOVA Award as Kit Carson was recognized for it’s contributions to the community. The Co-op has brought high-speed Internet access to local schools through its Telecommunications Division, helped lower heating costs through the Propane Division, and built an additional building to their headquarters for a call center that has provided jobs that don’t hinge on the seasonal tourist trade.

Kit Carson was also recognized in November 2002 by the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry, for its work in helping build strong vital communities in Northern New Mexico. Reyes accepted the VIVA award which recognizes businesses that demonstrate their unique vision or corporate philosophy, their investment in the community, their vitality through the organization’s growth or financial strength, and their action to make New Mexico a better place to live.

Wade Bitaraf
Wade Bitaraf
Global Head of Energy & Sustainability, Plug & Play

Wade is the Global Head of Energy & Sustainability practice at Plug and Play - the most active early stage investor in U.s and a global corporate innovation center. He has built a collaborative platform with Siemens, PG&E, Dominion Energy, Tokyo Gas, Enerjisa and several other innovative utilities and energy corporates in oil and gas, to accelerate digital transformation. His mission at Plug and Play is to bring innovation into energy industry by bridging the startup ecosystem and corporate world. Wade holds master degrees in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering.

Michael Edmonds
Michael Edmonds
Chief Commercial Officer, S&C Electric Company

Based at S&C Electric Company’s headquarters in Chicago IL, Michael Edmonds is the Chief Commercial Officer of the company. Responsibilities include all aspects of the business go-to-market strategy that solve customer problems - ranging from traditional switching & protection, grid reliability, consulting services,  microgrids, & the management of the electrical power grid. Six regional businesses report to Michael as does the global solutions group. Previous roles at S&C include President US business, VP Strategic Solutions covering strategy, product management, and marketing.

Before joining S&C Electric Company in 2010, his previous roles included VP & GM of Siemens Energy Automation and Power Technologies Inc (PTI). With these positions, he was responsible for the business of real-time energy management (EMS/DMS) and transmission network planning businesses.

Jorge Pikunic
Jorge Pikunic
Managing Director, Centrica Business Solutions

Jorge Pikunic is Managing Director of Centrica’s global Distributed Energy & Power business, Centrica Business Solutions, which was established to deliver distributed energy solutions as part of a more decentralized, flexible, and lower carbon energy system.  He joined Centrica in 2010, first heading up the Group’s strategy team, before taking over as Managing Director of British Gas’ Smart Metering business, where he led the roll-out of smart meters to over one million residential customers.

Born in Venezuela, Jorge holds a MSc and PhD in Chemical Engineering and was a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.  Before joining Centrica, he worked for McKinsey & Company, Procter & Gamble, and PDVSA (Venezuelan national oil company).  He is a Board Director of the Faraday Institution, the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage science and technology.

Adam Langton
Adam Langton
Energy Services Manager, BMW

Adam Langton is the Energy Services Manager for BMW of North America, LLC. In this role, Adam leads the development of energy service products related to BMW’s electric vehicle program. Prior to joining BMW, Adam worked at the California Public Utilities Commission, supporting the state’s development of electric vehicle programs and developing the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program. Adam graduated from UC-Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, where his studies focused on energy and environmental policy issues.

Peter Muhoro, Ph.D.
Peter Muhoro, Ph.D.
Vice President, Strategic Industry Research & Analysis, National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation

Dr. Peter Muhoro is the Vice President, Strategic Industry Research and Analysis at the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC). Peter brings technical knowledge and strategic planning expertise to electric cooperatives, and is responsible for strategic technical and industry research, business intelligence and advanced technologies trends analysis. Prior to joining CFC in 2017, Peter held several positions working for, and with electric cooperatives. Most recently, he served as the Chief Strategy Officer at Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the largest distribution electric cooperative in the U.S. Prior to that, he was an Advisor at the Cooperative Research Network, the technology research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He has previously launched several small businesses focused on energy analysis, bottom of the pyramid issues and poverty reduction through beneficial electrification. He serves on the boards of the Energy Storage Association and the Smart Electric Power Alliance, as well as other advisory committees. He is a sought-after speaker both nationally and internationally. Peter holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics from Hampton University, a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan.

Rishi Bhakar
Rishi Bhakar
Vice President, Tenaska

Rishi Bhakar has 25 years of experience in power, energy and technology industries. He has been investing in power and energy companies and projects for over 10 years at Tenaska. In his current role, Rishi leads new investments in energy-related businesses especially focused on advanced energy, distributed resources, micro-grid, storage, data analytics and grid’s edge. He also pursues acquisitions of generation assets, assists in equity and debt financings, and monitors existing portfolio.
Prior to joining Tenaska in 2008, Rishi worked at Wedbush Securities advising middle-market companies in technology and environmental sectors on capital raising, mergers and acquisitions. He has over a decade of software development and management experience at companies like Intel, ADP, Ingram Micro and Fujitsu.
Rishi is on the board of two non-profits promoting neighborhood transformation and entrepreneurship, namely Spark, a community development intermediary and ACG Nebraska. He earned his MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from University of Pune, India.

Jenifer Lee
Jenifer Lee
Principal Manager Emerging Technologies & Valuation, Southern California Edison

As the Principal Manger for Emerging Technology & Valuation at Southern California Edison, Jenifer leads the team that identifies and evaluates emerging technologies that will enable SCE to modernize the grid, integrate distributed energy resources, enable customer choice, and accomplish SCE’s strategic vision to decarbonize the electric sector and electrify transportation and buildings. She is a senior leader with more than thirty years of experience in the energy, electric utility, and independent power industries. She has an entrepreneurial work history focused on technical leadership in emerging businesses from cogeneration to renewable energy and large-scale infrastructure development. She has led teams that have commercially implemented new technologies and deployed databases with a focus on project management and execution.

Ms. Lee has a multi‐disciplinary background including business start‐up, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, financial analytics, contract negotiation, project construction, change management, and organizational leadership.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering & Management Systems and a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Arts & Science, both from Pennsylvania State University.

Ben Kellison
Ben Kellison
Director, Grid Research, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Ben is the Director of Grid Research for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (Formerly GTM Research), specializing in Distribution Automation, Network Management and Renewables Integration markets. He previously worked as a research analyst for Knwldg Houston, formerly a green energy and healthcare consulting firm, where his research focused on AMI deployment and smart grid regulatory policy. Prior to Knwldg Houston, Ben was a policy intern with Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates where he performed research for energy, transportation, and defense clients.

He has authored multiple studies on the smart grid market, concentrating on policy evolution, technology innovation, the market's competitive landscape and project economics. Ben has delivered keynote presentations for multiple industry conferences, moderated and participated in panels covering a variety of topics, and regularly hosts industry webinars with GTM Research / Greentech Media. Ben has been a smart grid contributor on CNN Money, NPR, and the Texas Tribune. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science.

Elta Kolo, Ph.D.
Elta Kolo, Ph.D.
Research Manager, Grid Edge, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Elta is a Research Manager for the Grid Edge team at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (formerly GTM Research), working on demand-side management in U.S. electricity markets. Prior to joining GTM, Elta pursued a joint Ph.D. funded by the European Commission on Sustainable Energy Technologies and Strategies at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. During her doctoral studies, she researched demand response policies for the implementation of smart grids and has presented her work at both U.S. and European conferences in addition to publishing in international scholarly journals. Elta holds a Master of Science degree in economics and management of network industries and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Union College.

Chaz Teplin
Chaz Teplin
Manager, Rocky Mountain Institute

Chaz Teplin is a Manager in RMI’s Electricity Practice, where he leads efforts in grid modernization, the economics of clean energy portfolios that can substitute for dispatchable fossil generation, and grid resilience. Dr. Teplin has experience throughout the energy technology chain. At NREL, Chaz worked on materials and economics for solar photovoltaics. At numerous startups, Chaz helped bring solar, LED lighting, and internet of things technologies to market.

Fei Wang
Fei Wang
Senior Grid Edge Analyst, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Fei Wang is a Grid Edge Analyst with Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (formerly GTM Research), specializing in customer energy management. Fei was previously a consultant in ICF’s energy practice where she worked on assessing the impact of environmental regulations for commercial, government and non-profit clients. Prior to that, Fei earned her Master of International Affairs with a concentration in energy and environment from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). During graduate school, Fei worked with New York Power Authority (NYPA) on renewable energy procurement, the State Energy Plan and the ReCharge New York program. Fei holds a B.A. in Economics from Franklin & Marshall College.

Jeff St. John
Jeff St. John
Senior Editor, Greentech Media

Jeff St. John comes to Greentech Media from The Fresno Bee, where he covered solar-power, biofuel and biomass developments in California's Central Valley, and the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash., where his beat included nuclear power and nuclear-waste remediation, as well as the research and development of biofuels, fuel cells, energy-management systems and other energy technologies. He also has written for the Anchorage Daily News, UpsideToday.com, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and he won a National Headliner Award in 2005. Jeff has a master's degree from the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and believes green technology will save the planet.

Julia Pyper
Julia Pyper
Contributing Editor, Greentech Media

Julia Pyper is a Senior Editor at Greentech Media covering utilities, grid issues, electric vehicles, the solar industry and energy storage. Find her on Twitter @JMPyper.

Julian Spector
Julian Spector
Staff Writer, Greentech Media

Julian is a staff writer at Greentech Media, where he reports on energy storage and other clean energy sectors. He also has experience covering clean transportation, state and federal energy policy, and climate adaptation. Previously, Julian reported for CityLab at The Atlantic and conducted grant-funded climate change reporting in Bangladesh. He graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in political science.

Erik Birkets
Erik Birkets
CEO, Clean Energy Trust

Erik Birkerts is the CEO of Clean Energy Trust. He leads the organization in its mission to bring cleantech innovation to market by finding, funding, and growing high-impact clean technology startups from the Midwest. Erik has over 25 years of operational, financial, and general management experience and has been active in the energy efficiency and clean technology sector for over 15 years.

Before joining Clean Energy Trust, Erik was on the senior management teams for two IPOs of venture capital backed companies, including serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of publicly-traded Orion Energy Systems as it scaled from $12 million in revenues to over $80 million. Erik currently serves on the Board of Directors for Milbank Manufacturing, the largest manufacturer in the U.S. of electrical metering housings and related equipment, including electric vehicle charging equipment and smart grid technologies. Erik also serves as a senior advisor to Metrus Energy (energy efficiency finance), and a board observer for Aker (precision agriculture), GoElectric (smart grid), SiNode Systems (advanced materials), and Intellihot (energy efficiency).

Erik earned his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his BA with honors in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University.

Brett Simon
Brett Simon
Senior Analyst, Storage, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Brett Simon is a senior energy storage analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables - formerly GTM Research, focusing on the U.S. behind-the-meter energy storage market. He leads GTM Research’s quarterly U.S. storage market report, The U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, published in collaboration with the Energy Storage Association. Prior to joining GTM, Brett earned a Master of Science degree in sustainable systems at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. He first became interested in energy storage systems and their potential to revolutionize the energy sector through his coursework and master's project. Brett also holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and environmental studies from New York University.

Advisory Board

Shay Bahramirad, Ph.D
Shay Bahramirad, Ph.D
Vice President, Engineering & Smart Grid, ComEd

Dr. Shay Bahramirad, IEEE Senior Member, is ComEd's Vice President of Technology and Smart Grid. Prior to that position, she was the Director of Smart Grid and Technology, serving as a strategic business leader in Commonwealth Edison, the electric Utility in Illinois, working on the transformation to the 21st century power grid and the new energy economy. Her major responsibilities include leading Smart Grid organization across ComEd to develop the vision, business models, and investment strategy of the grid of the future initiatives such as merging technologies, microgrids and smart city deployments. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, teaching Microgrids, Elements of Sustainable Energy, and Smart Grid.

Dr. Bahramirad holds multiple advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is the Chair of the board of IEEE PES Women in Power, Technical Chair of the 2016 IEEE PES T&D Conference, Advisory Committee Member of the Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid and the New Energy Economy, Guest Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, and Guest Editor-in-Chief of the Electricity Journal, special issue on Energy of the Future Applications to Illinois.

Sergej Mahnovski
Sergej Mahnovski
Director, Growth & Innovation, Edison International

Sergej Mahnovski is Director of Growth and Innovation at Edison International, where he leads a team focused on the identification, incubation and commercialization of growth opportunities from emerging technologies, new business models and strategic collaborations in four key focus areas of clean energy, transportation electrification, grid edge, and customer choice.

Sergej previously served as the Director of the Utility of the Future team at Consolidated Edison. Sergej also served as the head of New York City’s energy and sustainability agency for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, where his team developed a blueprint for reducing carbon emissions in NYC by 80 percent by 2050, and a comprehensive strategy for rebuilding critical energy infrastructure after Superstorm Sandy. The team was awarded the Citizens Budget Commission Prize for Public Service Innovation for developing new approaches to reducing air pollution in NYC. Sergej also served as a Chair and co-founder of the NYC Energy Efficiency Corporation.

Sergej has served as Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He was previously Director for the Global Power Group at IHS CERA and Doctoral Fellow at RAND Corporation. Sergej holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and B.A. in History from Stanford University, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the RAND Graduate School.

Alexandre Torreele
Alexandre Torreele
Head of Innovation, Strategy & Business Development, Elia
Doug McMahon
Doug McMahon
Vice President of Strategy, New York Power Authority

Doug McMahon is the Vice President of Strategy for the New York Power Authority, the country’s largest state owned electric utility. He is responsible for the development and execution of NYPA’s corporate strategy. In addition, Doug leads incubation and commercialization of new products, services and technologies at NYPA - aimed at catalyzing New York State’s REV and clean energy goals by developing scalable and financeable solutions that make the energy system cleaner and more efficient, intelligent, flexible and resilient.

Kristen Brown, Ph.D.
Kristen Brown, Ph.D.
Principal, Innovation & Partnerships, Exelon Utilities

Kristen Brown is a Principal with Commonwealth Edison’s Utility of the Future group which is tasked with advancing ComEd’s transition into the future. In this role, Kristen is responsible for identifying and evaluating potential investments in new technologies related to the realities of rapid technical advancement, increasing data availability, pervasive connectivity, and customer choice and control. She specifically focuses on ComEd’s peer-to-peer, transactive energy, and communications infrastructure strategies.

Prior to her role at ComEd, Kristen was a Fellow at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). She worked with academic institutions, start-up companies, and large businesses to advance energy technologies in materials design, energy efficiency, and virtual reality. Kristen holds a PhD from Northwestern University in Chemistry and a BS from Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering.

Eliano Russo
Eliano Russo
Head of e-industries, Enel
Ashwin Shashindranath
Ashwin Shashindranath
Managing Director, Evergy Ventures

Ashwin Shashindranath is a Managing director at Evergy Ventures. Ashwin is looking for and works with entrepreneurs and companies who are genuinely excited about being agents of change in the energy landscape. Since joining Evergy Ventures in 2017, he's led investments in ecobee, Redaptive, Claroty and ClimaCell. His focus areas include Energy Storage, Digital Utility, Energy Efficiency and Cybersecurity. He previously served on the investment team at OpenAir Equity Partners where his areas of interest included Internet Of Things and Aging in Place technologies. Ashwin has over 10 years of startup operational experience spanning both business development and product management roles.

Ben Kellison
Ben Kellison
Director, Grid Research, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Ben is the Director of Grid Research for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (Formerly GTM Research), specializing in Distribution Automation, Network Management and Renewables Integration markets. He previously worked as a research analyst for Knwldg Houston, formerly a green energy and healthcare consulting firm, where his research focused on AMI deployment and smart grid regulatory policy. Prior to Knwldg Houston, Ben was a policy intern with Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates where he performed research for energy, transportation, and defense clients.

He has authored multiple studies on the smart grid market, concentrating on policy evolution, technology innovation, the market's competitive landscape and project economics. Ben has delivered keynote presentations for multiple industry conferences, moderated and participated in panels covering a variety of topics, and regularly hosts industry webinars with GTM Research / Greentech Media. Ben has been a smart grid contributor on CNN Money, NPR, and the Texas Tribune. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science.

Mark Dyson
Mark Dyson
Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute

Mark’s work focuses on several topics related to the changing nature of the electricity grid. Mark has contributed to RMI’s work on new approaches to grid resource planning that better account for the expanding role of renewable energy and distributed energy resources. Mark also helped lead RMI’s analysis of the potential of demand flexibility to reduce grid emissions and costs, and has engaged with several industry partners to launch new business models that take advantage of that potential.

BACKGROUND
Prior to joining RMI, Mark worked at Ascend Analytics, helping deploy software for grid dispatch optimization and financial modeling to several large energy companies. Mark has also held research positions at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory working on improving regional electricity system planning models, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory working on analysis of the potential for aggregated demand response programs to provide ancillary services.